Travel Blog

Say Goodbye to Forgotten Passport Panic

Travellers may soon be bidding adieu to their faithful passports, as new biometric technology is set to use scanners and facial recognition software to identify flyers.

Up until a few years ago, retina-scanning technology, 3D scanners and other biometric identifiers seemed more suited to a James Bond film than it did an average travel journey. Yet, with the new technology currently being trialled at Dubai Airport, it is closer than we think. In fact, according to The Express, we could see it rolled out within the next decade.

The system, which was developed by UK start-up ObjectTech, will work by creating digital passports based on biometric features. It sounds futuristic, but really it will involve passengers being identified by a 3D scanner as they walk through a short tunnel. Facial recognition technology will also be used as they exit to ensure the person matches the passport.

Paul Ferris, co-founder and CEO of ObjectTech, said that the technology will not only aid in speeding up international travel, but will also make it safer as fraudulent travellers will be easier to detect. Moreover he says it will “give people back control of their personal digital data." This is because the blockchain technology used by the start-up allows users to determine who sees what data.

The move comes as the latest part in Dubai’s plan to become a world leader in the Internet of Things by 2020. Although, they are far from the only country experimenting with passport replacement technology; the US is developing a biometric scanner, too, while JetBlue, a US airline, is looking to replace the boarding card with a selfie.

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